Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told a group of ROTC cadets on Wednesday that sexual assault is a “particular challenge and a particular disgrace” to the U.S. military.
He noted that last year, far more men (10,400) than women (8,500) “experienced unwanted sexual contact.”
“We’ve made some progress,” Carter said. “We seem to have seen some decrease in the estimated number of assaults, and we seem to have seen some increase in those reporting an assault.
“But, last year, we estimated that at least 18,900 servicemembers — 10,400 men and 8,500 women — experienced unwanted sexual contact.”
Carter added that “too few” men reported the incidents as sexual assault.
“So, altogether that’s 18,900 too many. No man or woman who serves in the United States military should ever be sexually assaulted.”